Leadership Blog August 2023

Latest leadership blog from our Deputy Chief Executive Dawn Hanwell.

Dawn HanwellHello,

Welcome to our latest leadership blog.

This edition is coming from me whilst our chief exec Sara takes a summer break.

The last two months has been very busy indeed, with high and low points throughout.

Far too much has happened to cover it all so please forgive me if I miss something out.


NHS75 – a season of celebration

Among the high points were our celebrations to mark the 75th birthday of the NHS.

Our People Engagement Team ran what we called our Big Thank You Festival, where teams and services take time out to come together and celebrate all that they are and have achieved in the last year.

The pinnacle of the festival was our Big Thank You Carnival event on 30 June. We threw a party for around 300 staff and, I can personally say, it was a cracking night.

On 5 July, the day the NHS turned 75, four of our staff accompanied by our Chief Operating Officer Joanna, travelled to Westminster Abbey for a special NHS commemorative service.

We also hosted a special event to coincide with our Annual General Meeting on 25 July which brought together staff, partners, service users and people with lived experience to celebrate everything that makes us great at LYPFT.

It is important to take time out from our busy working lives to celebrate who we are and what we achieve, and I’m pleased to see colleagues getting into the spirit of that.


NHS Assembly 75th birthday report

The NHS Assembly, which is a ‘guiding coalition’ of people from across the health and care sectors, has reflected on where we have come from, where the NHS is now and how it needs to change to meet future needs.

Their NHS75 Report highlights the significant progress undertaken since the inception of the NHS and the pride in which people in the NHS, alongside its partners, take in making a real difference to patients. The report sets out the need for three shifts in how it delivers care in the future, which chime with the West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board’s strategy and joint forward plan. They are: 

  • Preventing ill health – shifting funding to evidence-based measures to prevent and manage coronary heart disease and other causes of ill health such as smoking and obesity,
  • Personalisation and participation – ensuring that people can maintain control of their own care, alongside continuity of care with their clinicians, and
  • Co-ordinated care, closer to home – moving further faster on integrating care in our neighbourhoods and ensuring better out of hospital care in our communities for those with complex needs and frailty.

Read it on the NHS England website.


A WRAP at Trust Board

At the Trust Board meeting on 27 July, we heard from Jayne Robinson, lived experience partner, and Shannon Gibbons, Assistant Psychologist, on the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) run by the Leeds Recovery College.

WRAP is a personalised 12-week plan that you develop for yourself and helps you think about getting and staying well.

Jayne and Shannon gave a compelling presentation which posed many questions and possibilities for the Board members. We recognised this could have a huge impact if rolled out more widely, for service users and for staff.


Industrial Action

Over the last two months we’ve safely managed further periods of industrial action. I am grateful for the hard work of our incident co-ordination team and the many others who’ve provided cover for our clinical services. Unfortunately, we have seen more disruption to routine care, in particular outpatient provision that was unavoidably stood down as a last resort. I’m pleased to say all cancelled appointments have been rebooked.

Sadly this is not the end of the disruption and we’re now planning for further action by our junior doctors and consultants in August.


Care Services – collaboration to manage the ongoing challenges

We continue to manage a range of challenges in the delivery of consistent and sustainable high-quality care for all people needing our support.

We are seeing good progress on reset and recovery work, and services are coming together to manage these challenges, such as our crisis and street triage teams (see below).

In Leeds we are working together to improve the flow of people through the local health system and address the longstanding issues of delayed transfers of care. In June we hosted over 50 colleagues from across health, care, third sector and local authority services in Leeds at a MADE – or a Multi-Agency Discharge Event.

The key themes to come out were:

  • Variability in practice across wards to manage and support flow of service users through the system,
  • The purpose of admissions is not consistency being documented or understood by our teams,
  • The availability of specialist placements, supported living environments, access to social housing or private tenancies and awaiting funding of complex care packages,
  • Delays waiting for adjustments to housing such as deep cleans, managing infestations minor adaptations etc., and
  • Ward based staff are not always aware of the full range of support services available in the community.


Crisis services join forces to overcome staff shortages

Through May and June, we have seen an improvement in meeting our four-hour crisis targets despite severe staff shortages.

Earlier this year we merged our Crisis and Street Triage teams to help overcome staff shortages which is having a positive impact on response times. Staff continue to deliver both aspects of their service areas with a shared approach. This will continue for six months to enable both services to continue to recruit into vacant posts.

Well done to those teams for their joined-up efforts to overcome these ongoing challenges.


Pulling together for our Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs)

At the end of 2022 we took action to support our community mental health teams to address severe issues in service delivery, most notably the redeployment of staff. I’d like to thank all those who’ve been redeployed into our CMHTs, your support has been invaluable.

Those staff will return to their home teams in August. They leave our CMHTs in a much better place, and with a new vision for the future as we look forward to the first pilot sites of our Community Mental Health Transformation going live in the autumn.

Read more about Community Transformation on the MindWell Leeds website.


Estates update

As the director responsible for estates and facilities, I’m pleased to be able to highlight a couple of good news stories here.

Firstly I’m delighted to announce that building work to improve facilities and conditions for our Acute Liaison Psychiatry Service in both Leeds’ Emergency Departments has started at Leeds General Infirmary. This is great news particularly heading towards winter where we see our highest level of demand. Similar work at St James’ Hospital is set to start in mid-November 2023.

And we’re hoping that our new trust headquarters ‘corporate hub’ at St Mary’s House will be opening in October. Work to convert the ‘Main House’ building at the Chapel Allerton site has suffered significant delays, but, we’re nearly there. It will provide modern offices, meeting rooms and agile working accommodation and we are looking forward to moving in.



Patient records get digital treatment

Our Informatics team do some great work, but you don’t always hear about it. Well, I’m going to shine a light on them here. We’re rolling out our new electronic document management system, MediViewer, to 60 clinical teams in August.

This will transform the way we access historic health records, some of which are still in paper form and have to be physically moved around to wherever we are seeing our patients. Going forward this means a patient’s care history will be available in the right place, at the right time, all the time.



Comings and goings

Clare Edwards profile picture

We’ll be welcoming Clare Edwards (pictured) as our new Associate Director for Corporate Governance in September.

This follows the (semi) retirement of Cath Hill who has provided many years of dedicated support to the Board. Cath will stay on for a few weeks to help with handover, before taking on a new challenge working for our Chief Operating Officer.


We are also looking forward to welcoming our new Freedom to Speak Up Guardian Shereen Robinson in October. Our current Guardian John Verity has agreed to support Shereen’s handover so we have a little more time to say our farewells to John.


A few more recent goodbyes include:

  • Head of Operations Maureen Cushley who’s moved to the Isle of Jersey,
  • Our former Head of Nursing Linda Rose who has taken early retirement, and
  • Our Head of Infection Prevention and Control Michelle Higgins who’s moving to Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.


Interested in holding us to account? Here’s your chance!

We’re currently holding an election to our Council of Governors and we’re looking for service users, carers, and members of the public who are interested in making a difference.

If you or someone you know might be interested in becoming a Governor for the Trust, you’ll first need to sign up to be a member. Members have until 21 August 2023 to put themselves forward. To nominate yourself, please visit our nominations website. For an informal chat about the role of a governor, contact Kerry McMann at kerry.mcmann@nhs.net.


Reasons to be proud

As well as NHS75, this year marked the 75th anniversary of the arrival of the Windrush generation from the Caribbean.


Our Workforce Race Equality Network (WREN) hosted a session where colleagues shared their own personal stories and connection to the Windrush generation. We acknowledge that diversity is the foundation of the NHS but we must continue to tackle discrimination head on.


Golden support for armed forces staff

In July we were awarded the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) 2023 Gold Award, the highest badge of honour which recognises the positive role that employers play in supporting the armed forces community.

As a forces-friendly employer, we make a real difference to people who play a crucial role in UK defence and those who are helping to nurture and inspire the next generation through their involvement with the cadet movement.


Pets as Therapy Impact

Pets As Therapy (PAT) volunteer Ian Mobley received a 2023 PAT Impact Award for his work at our St Mary’s Hospital site. Along with his dog Indie, the PAT Team are regular visitors, spending time with service users on the ward.

Ian said: “To see the young people brighten up when Indie comes on the ward is reward enough. I’ve been told Indie’s visits really changes the mood of the young service users and staff alike.”


Award for young people’s research team

The COMIC research team who conduct research specific to children and young people have been highly commended in the category of best public engagement contribution. This is for their work on establishing a Young Persons Advisory Network across Yorkshire to inform their research. Well done team.


Best for staff health and wellbeing

We’re thrilled to be finalists in the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) People Management Awards for Best Health and Well-being initiative. We hope to report that we’ve won at the awards ceremony on 21 September 2023. Until then, read more about why we think we’re winners already.